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the law, and married to Chrift, Rom. vii. 4. Ye are broken off from all your natural confidences before the Lord, founded in any thing whatsoever that is not Christ or in Chrift, and lay your whole confidence before the Lord on him. So that he is your all in point of confidence before the throne, Phil. iii. 8. This is a fure evidence, Phil. iii. 3. Matth. v. 3. Blessed are the poor in fpirit; where it is obfervable that this leads the van, and is to be carried through all the rest of the duties and graces following. This is the very nature of faith as it unites to Chrift.
2. Your hearts are separated and disjoined from fin, and labouring to take up their everlasting ref in Christ, as the centre of your defires, Pfal. cxix. 128. & lxxiii. 25. Mens defires naturally go out after the world and their lufts; and if they have any defires after Chrift, it is but a defire of him together with their lufts. But grace turns the heart against these, and kindles defires of Chrift, instead of lufts, Matth. xiii. 45. 46. This is a fure evidence, Matth. v. 6. If it true, while here the faints are not separated from fin in action, Pfal. lxv. 3. But in affection they are, Rom. vii. 24. and in that refpect Chrift has the crown, and lufts the cross, Gal. v. 24. And thus God judges of them, 2 Cor. viii. 12. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man bath, and not according to that he hath not.
3. Ye are carried out of yourselves into Jefus Chrift, Matth. xvi. 24. To a natural man his fweet felf is his all, but grace turns felf off the throne, and fets up Christ in its ftead. While the man is feparated from Christ, he has feparate interefts from him: but when united to Chrift, thefe are all fwallowed up in Chrift's intereft, as the rivers when they go into the fea, have no more their feparate channels. Ye know the dif ference betwixt an unmarried and a married woman. The unmarried woman lives upon her own, and pleafes herself; the married lives on her husband's, and pleafes him. Such is the difference betwixt one fepa
rated from, and one united to Chrift, Pfal. xlv. 10. (1.) The foul in a state of separation from Christ lives on its own, acts from itself as the highest principle, ftands on its own legs, as it were, and takes its own weight to bear (Prov. xxviii. 26.) in point of fanctification. It is like that nominal marriage, If. iv. 1. And in that day feven women shall take hold of one man, faying, We will eat our own bread, and wear own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. And therefore fuch a one is called fenfual, having not the Spirit, Jude ver. 19. one that has no higher principle than his own foul.
The foul united to Chrift lives on his, or by him, John vi. 57 Being fenfible of its utter impotency for good, it flees to him, his Spirit and grace, and relies on him for ftrength, Jer. xxxi. 18. This is the life of faith. The one like Goliath goes forth in confidence of his ftrength, fword and fpear; the other, like the ftripling David, goes forth in the name of the Lord. This is a fure evidence, Phil. iii. 3. Cant. viii. 5.
(2.) The man in a ftate of feparation lives for himfelf, as his chief end, in point of fanctification too, Hof. x. I. In what good he does, his great end is to serve and please himself, not to ferve and please the Lord. And it can be no otherwise with the natural man; for as the mouth of a river can never be higher than its fpring, fo he that acts from himself can never but act for felf. And thus God regards not their fervice.
But the man united to Chrift lives to the Lord, Rom. xiv. 7. 8. Phil. i. 21. The gracious foul, like the married woman, cares how to please her husband, would fain be holy, and endeavours to be so, that she may be like him. The foul united to Chrift is not barren of good works, John xv. 5. but brings them forth to him, Rom. vii. 4.; the great end of their duties being not to content themselves, but to walk VOL. II.
before him in all well-pleafing. This alfo is a fure evidence, Phil. i. 21. To me to live is Chrift.
USE ult. of exhortation. O be exhorted,
1. To be deeply concerned for union with Chrift. O finner, take no reft, till thou be in him. Seek to unite with him, and live no longer in a state of feparation from him. To prefs this, confider,
Mot. 1. Thou may be doing, but thou canft do nothing to purpofe, while not united to Chrift, John xv. 5. None of thy duties will be accepted of God, however great they be in thy own eyes, or those of others, Eph. i. 6. An ox offered on the altar of Bethel would have been rejected, when two young doves were accepted on the altar of Jerufalem. They want the inworking of Chrift's Spirit, Jam. v. 16. the incenfe of Chrift's interceffion, and therefore cannot be accepted of the Father.
Mot. 2. Thou haft neither part nor lot in this matter, the redemption purchased by Chrift, till thou be united with him, Eph. ii. 12. It is not thine till it be applied to thee; and it is not applied but in the way of union with him. The ark doubtlefs could have faved more than it did; but what availed it to many that there was an ark, fince they were not in it? Though there be a remedy that would cure thee, what does it avail thee, while it is not applied to thee?
Mot. 3. Miferable and dangerous beyond expref fion is thy ftate while thou art not united to Chrift, Eph. ii. 12. Poor foul, thou art fitting in the region and fhadow of death, in the fuburbs of hell. The wrath of God is hovering over thy head, though thou perceivest it not, John iii. ult. He that believeth not, the wrath of God abideth on him. Thou art fecure, but far from fafety. The deluge of wrath is at hand, but thou haft no ark. The avenger of blood is at thy heels, and thou art not got into the city of refuge; the deftroying angel is coming through, and thy door-pofts are not fprinkled with blood yet; and
fire and brimftone are ready to be rained down upon thee, but thou haft no Zoar to flee to,
Mot. ult. Chrift offers to unite with you, Rev. iii, 20. even with the worst and vileft of you all. He fends out his ambaffadors to gain your confent to this union, and win your hearts. Behold the Former of all things making fuit to his own clay, Matth. xxii. 4, All things are ready; come unto the marriage. Will ye flight and defpife this union, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life?
2. Labour to get the Spirit, who cafts the inviolable knot. If ye have not the Spirit of Chrift, ye can be none of his.
3. Lastly, Believe, Chrift and all his redemption are in your offer, Believe his word, embrace him in it, let your whole foul fay Amen to the blessed bargain, Confent to the gofpel-offer, faying, Henceforth then he is mine, and I am his. Chrift does not apprehend a foul by his Spirit, as a man takes a tree in his arms, but as one friend another, who mutually clasp about one another, Do not delay this work; do not fay, Ye dare not do it, finçe without it ye cannot be united to Chrift.
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Of effectual Calling,
2 TIMOTHY i, 2.
Who bath faved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpofe and grace which was given us in Chrift Jefus before the world began.
HE myftical union betwixt Chrift and a finner is brought to pafs in the effectual calling of a finner, which I come now to explain, and we have in the text. The apoftle had exhorted limothy to a confident adhering to the doctrine of the gospel over
the belly of afflictions for the caufe of God; and in the text fhews a good reafon, that both he himself and Timothy had to do fo, taken from what God had done for them.
1. What the Lord had done for them. (1.) Saved them, namely, from fin and wrath; i. e. had brought them into a state of falvation out of a state of fin and mifery, applied Chrift's falvation to them, which is fo effectual that never one dies of the disease after it is applied, and therefore may be faid thereupon to be faved. (2.) Called them, namely, by his Spirit, when they were at a distance from him; he called them to himfelf; faved and called; not that he firft faved and then called them; but he faved them by calling them; which fhews this call to be an effectual call. Therefore also it is called an holy calling, not only as proceeding from an holy God, but as making the called holy too.
2. The cause of the Lord's doing this for them. (1.) Negatively; not for any merit of theirs, they had done nothing to move God to call them more than others. (2.) Pofitively: [1.] His eternal purpofe of love and falvation to them, as the apoftle explains it, Rom. viii. 30. They were from eternity predeftinated to falvation and the means of it, and therefore in complement of that purpose were favingly called, [.] His grace or free favour given them in and through Jefus Chrift, which is Taid to have been given them before the world began, from eternity; namely, virtually in the decree, which fecured the real giving them it in time, as much as if they had had it in hand. And this account of the caufes of this call does further evince it to be effectual calling that is meant.
The doctrine of the text is,
DOCT. "All that partake of Chrift's falvation are effectually called."